Why Do You Need Cycling Shoes to Ride a Spin Bike (and How to Choose Them)

In the past, when I cycled everywhere, I wore my regular trainers and stuck my feet into the toe-pads that I attached to the pedals of my bike. Sometimes I rode with “real” cyclists who had funny pedals and shoes that clicked and clicked as I walked, and all I felt was gratitude that I never had to figure out how the hell they were. enjoy. Until I took spinning lessons.

I already wrote about how I struggled with these early lessons before I learned how to use rented shoes. More recently, I got a spin bike to use at home and after a few rides I realized I needed these shoes .

Why do cyclists use shoes with cleats?

The best argument for choosing the right cycling shoes is that they are great at transferring power from your feet to the pedals. It doesn’t really matter when you’re cycling around town, but if you expect to be able to run intensely in spinning class or get out of the saddle, you definitely need to keep your shoes on top.

Wear thin-soled shoes like the Chucks and you will feel the pedal contour pressing unpleasantly against your foot. Wear flexible running shoes like trainers and you will notice the bend in the sole as you climb off the saddle. I ended up using hiking shoes before finally giving up and going shopping for real cycling shoes.

Your shoes and pedals must be compatible

Bicycle pedals and shoes are not compatible. If you look at the bottom of a pair of cycling shoes, there’s something on the ball of the foot, and somewhere in the middle there are screw holes. This is the part that attaches to the pedal. This, my friends, is a thorn.

There are many different stud systems. Peloton uses large triangular cleats called the LOOK Delta, while road cyclists often love Shimano SPD cleats and argue about which one is better: SM-SH51 or SM-SH56. (If you’re a outdoorsy beginner, use the 56. It is easier to unfasten.)

The pedal / spike / shoe situation can get complicated if you’re cycling outdoors, especially if you’re starting to wonder if you need to walk in the same shoes. This is where spin bike owners can breathe a sigh of relief. All you have to do is walk from chair to bike, and you don’t have to worry about how quickly you can unfasten in an emergency. You just need something to tie your leg to the bike.

I picked my cleats while searching Amazon for something in my price range and ended up with a pair of pedals that have a toe-rest on one side and an SPD-compatible nozzle on the other. I left this in my shopping trolley while looking for the right shoes and found a pair that could accommodate SPD-style spikes. If you already own shoes or pedals, analyze their requirements and purchase the appropriate parts. Not sure what to look for? They are sometimes referred to as “non-contact” pedals, although people talk about “snapping in” because they don’t use toe clamps.

How to buy the right set

Shoes and pedals are sold separately, but here’s what you need to know: cleats come with the pedals , even if they attach to the shoe.

You open your brand new pedal box and find cleats next to them in a small pouch. Then you open your new shoes and try them on to make sure they fit as tightly as possible without hurting you, then fit the cleats from the pedal kit onto your new shoes.

I foundthis video helpful when installing spikes. If you have a different style, just watch the video on which type you are. Once everything is set up, take some time to practice clipping and you are ready to pedal.

One more thing: familiarize yourself with your cleat style and find out what adjustments you can make. There may be a screw on the pedal itself that makes it difficult or easier to secure, and you can adjust the position of the cleat on the shoe. After a few trips, you will have a better understanding of what you need to change.

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